A tale of two coffee shops: New West Stockbridge businesses talk roasting, brewing


WEST STOCKBRIDGE -- Emma Rombach was one of many West Stockbridge residents who found a special reason to enjoy a cup of coffee on Fourth of July weekend.

On a hot Saturday afternoon, the seasonal West Stockbridge resident bought an iced coffee from the newly opened Shaker Dam Coffeehouse & Stanmeyer Gallery. The coffee was prepared through the lengthy Kyoto process, which can take half a day to complete.

Days earlier, Rombach tried out another new addition to downtown, Six Depot Roastery and Cafe. She described their coffee as "remarkably good."

"I don't get coffee for the sake of getting coffee," Rombach said. "I just drink good coffee."

Shaker Dam Coffeehouse and No. Six Depot Roastery are both run by owners who love coffee and pride themselves on relying on sustainably grown beans. They also have some fancy coffee hardware to brew a cup of Joe.

Both shops sell food made from locally grown products, but their businesses tout coffee as a selling point.

Shaker Dam Coffeehouse, located on Main Street, is co-owned by Anastasia and John Stanmeyer. Anastasia is the editor of Berkshire Magazine and Stanmeyer is well-known for his photography in National Geographic magazine. The coffeehouse includes an upstairs room brimming with Stanmeyer's artwork from around the world.

On a nearby counter, there's an hourglass-like contraption that carefully produces iced coffee through a drip process that can take between eight and 12 hours.

Stanmeyer also says the magic behind the coffeehouse's robust French roast is a specialty lever press. The coffeehouse uses coffee beans from Dunham, N.C.-based Counter Culture Coffee, which identifies quality coffee from around the world based on sustainable practices.

There will be future workshops at the coffeehouse, he said, and the business is built around "love, passion of life, and being alive wrapped around darn good coffee."

Six Depot Roastery and Cafe is co-owned by Flavio and Lisa Lichenthal.

Flavio's appreciation of coffee was honed in the coffee-rich region of Argentina and time spent in New York restaurants where the coffee is taken seriously. The shop also sells breakfast and lunch, along with teas and bath salts.

Lisa said the couple could use the coffeehouse for other purposes, including offering tango dancing classes or specialty dining.

Six Depot Roastery's coffee beans arrive on site green, and they are roasted on the premises using a Probat coffee roaster. The flames are manually adjusted to accentuate the complex flavor. Flavio also touted the shop's espresso, which is produced with a lever machine.

Flavio said the coffee is "sourced incredibly carefully and roasted with great attention to detail in small batches."


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